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HP Calls For Sun and IBM to Remove OS Licenses 424

Posted by Zonk
from the cow-for-free dept.
Rob writes "Computer Business Review is reporting that in order to help nudge Linux and open source software further into the enterprise, a vice president at Hewlett-Packard Co yesterday called on rivals IBM Corp and Sun Microsystems Inc to invalidate their open-source software licenses in favor of a free licensing model. During his keynote at the LinuxWorld Conference in San Francisco yesterday, HP's vice president of open source and NonStop Enterprise Martin Fink commended the Open Source Initiative on setting up new rules to limit the growth of open-source licenses." From the article: "He asked IBM to deprecate its open-source license and instead put it under the General Public License, the most popular license for free software that gives users the freedom run the program for any purpose, to study how it works, to modify and improve it and distribute copies. In contrast, an open-source license, like IBM's, is copyrighted. Fink also called on Sun Microsystems to deprecate its Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), which applies to OpenSolaris, GlassFish and JWSDP, and to re-license Solaris 10 under the General Public License, which drew the crowd's applause."
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HP Calls For Sun and IBM to Remove OS Licenses

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  • A lot of hot air (Score:4, Interesting)

    by j1mmy (43634) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:32AM (#13294838) Journal
    HP is moving more and more towards the consumer desktop market. Is this guy even going to have a job next week?

    (first post?)
  • s/GPL/BSD/ (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tcopeland (32225) * <<tom> <at> <thomasleecopeland.com>> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:32AM (#13294840) Homepage
    Reducing the license count is good, but put those apps under the BSD license instead. That way folks can use your program without their hands being tied. They can even make a product out of it, make some money, and feed changes/improvements back into the program. I've had folks send in contributions to PMD [sf.net] and say that if it was GPL'd they wouldn't be contributing their code.

    And the fact that Compuware wraps PMD and calls it OptimalAdvisor [compuware.com]? More power to them! Maybe they'll contribute a bug fix or two, and maybe I'll sell a couple more copies of the book [pmdapplied.com]. A rising tide, as it were...
    • Re:s/GPL/BSD/ (Score:5, Insightful)

      by paitre (32242) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:35AM (#13294868) Journal
      Except that there are a lot of folks that don't -want- their OSS work to be commercialized by anyone else, if they're not going to do it themselves.

      The BSD is a great license, but that is actually a -weakness-, IMO - that anyone can take BSD code, make a new product out of it, and not have to release those changes back to the community.

      It's called leeching.
      • Re:s/GPL/BSD/ (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cnettel (836611) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:39AM (#13294909)
        It's called free as in "no strings attached".
        • It's called free as in "no strings attached"

          Yes, for people who want to make easy money on work done by community people. GPL can mean protection. Protection that your work won't be stolen by sensless FOSS-opposing jerks and sold for money without giving credit.

      • Re:s/GPL/BSD/ (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:40AM (#13294927) Homepage Journal
        The BSD is a great license, but [the ability to commercialize] is actually a -weakness-

        No, it's not a weekness any more than the GPL's requirement to provide source code is. Choose the right license for what you want to do, and you'll have no problems. For example, the Apache project works on the idea that providing a common code base instead of reinventing the wheel at 500 different companies is a good thing. Thus they provide code (donated by many of those same companies!) under the BSD license specifically so the software *can* be commercialized.

        In the case of Linux, control over the source code is a more important feature than not reinventing the wheel. Thus it's under the GPL license.

        You people need to wake up and remember the programmer's addage, "Use the right tool for the right job!"
        • The GPL doesn't prevent commercialization. It does, however, reduce the chance proprietary and incompatible variations.

          Companies CAN licence GPL'd software, they have to go to the software's copyright owner, and if that owner is willing, negotiate a different licence that suits the company in question.
        • Re:s/GPL/BSD/ (Score:3, Informative)

          by LurkerXXX (667952)
          The Apache license for 2.x is unfortunately not just a vanillay BSD license. It has some limiting stuff in it which is why OpenBSD is still using the 1.x version of Apache by default. It's got a true free license.
        • ...that the BSD license is more often than not the wrong tool for the job as is the MIT/X11 and Artistic Licenses.

          So many proponents of the BSD license seem to think that it's a magic bullet for everything and insist in BSDing all the code. For example, in the case of the discussion here, someone suggested that they BSD the stuff from IBM and Sun- because it was a better license for everything so that people wouldn't have their hands tied with use.

          This is so dead wrong it's tragic.

          In this case, you'd want
        • I thought the addage was 'if it ain't broke don't fix it"
      • > It's called leeching.

        True! There's a tradeoff there though - how many folks will _not_ contribute since they want to stand clear of the GPL? I'd rather give those folks a safe way to contribute, and I've got zero interest in tracking down GPL violators.

        And it seems to be working out well - check the contributors [sourceforge.net] page. Most of the real interesting stuff in PMD has come from other folks... like the data flow analysis stuff, for example. I want to avoid any chance of scaring away those folks ...
        • how many folks will _not_ contribute since they want to stand clear of the GPL

          Not many I would think, they can contribute their code with a BSD or even public domain licence and you can still use it in a GPL codebase. Or didn't I understand the problem?
          • > they can contribute their code with a
            > BSD or even public domain licence

            Right, but I think their concern is that they may "contaminate" themselves by looking at the GPL'd code. You know, it's like looking at CDDL'd code; if those ideas show up in your own code later and someone traces it back, bad times. Better to just stand clear, you know?
          • At my job, a lot of what we produce is IP. As such, we make a choice not to incorporate GPLed code into our software. That is our choice. We are aware of the trade-off (i.e. either follow the GPL or roll your own), and take that into account.

            We may wish that the authors had chosen a different license, but we respect their wishes.

            Note that we *use* GPL software (cygwin, gcc, etc...), but do not incoroporate it into anything that we redistribute. I, for one, would love to contribute code back for the part
      • I agree.

        Although the BSD license has its place, I think the GPL is superior in the arena of source changes.

        I'm all for being able to change the code, and if you distrubute the modified code, everyone should be able to see what you modified. That is what the GPL license gives us.
      • Re:s/GPL/BSD/ (Score:4, Insightful)

        by stienman (51024) <adavis@@@ubasics...com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:53AM (#13295058) Homepage Journal
        It's called leeching.

        As opposed to the GPL's form of forced reverse leeching?

        Using the GPL is like saying, "If you don't follow my rules, you can't use my tools."

        That's fine. I have no problem with authors choosing whatever license they want.

        I would argue that *more* freedom comes to the user with software licensed under the BSD license. I have fewer restrictions when I choose BSD licensed software.

        When I choose to license software under BSD, I am choosing to allow my users greater freedom than the GPL provides.

        My community contributed software is a gift of my time and resources. I feel that gifts should come without strings and without expectations.

        -Adam

        • Therefore, GPL'd software is NOT a gift. It is simply a resource that one may choose to use or not use. If one uses this community resource are bound by the restrictions outlined in the license.

          -Adam
        • It depends what you want to happen with your product.

          If your tool is complete and you don't want any help with it, and people should use it freely, use the BSD license.

          If you want to see it improved and become something greater than one man's labour, use the GPL, because that's the only way you'll ever see the improvements.

          By using the GPL, it says "look, I put some effort in here - you can use it for free, but all I expect is that if you do something cool with it, you do the same thing I did". This seems
          • If you want to see it improved and become something greater than one man's labour, use the GPL, because that's the only way you'll ever see the improvements. (Emphasis added)

            GPL: The cynic's license.

            -Adam
            • Yes, it is cynical. I never said it wasn't. The GPL is a good compromise between pure-free BSD and commercial freeware. It is a pragmatic viewpoint that allows for free use and resale of software, but requires that you obey the Golden Rule.

              I don't believe the OSS community would have gotten half as far without the GPL. People are selfish - that's how the economy works. GPL means that free-software is compatible with the selfishness of the human race. Anything else is idealism.

          • ...use the GPL, because that's the only way you'll ever see the improvements.

            Well hell... somebody better let these [netbsd.org] guys [freebsd.com] know [openbsd.com] then.
      • if you arent gong to commercialize your own work, and you dont want anyone else to do it, then just burn the damned code. Everyone wants to have money in their pocket. If its not directly from product, its from associated services. i really wish ppl would stop pretending this doenst exist. You can still be altruistic and still find a way to 'put food on your family'
    • Re:s/LGPL/BSD/ (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ccbailey (859060) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:39AM (#13294914) Homepage
      Why not the poor old LGPL? Everyone forgets about this little guy when the GPL vs BSD flamewars erupt. With LGPL you can make sure that no one leeches your code while allowing others to build commercial apps around it ands feed their children or whatever...
      • Re:s/LGPL/BSD/ (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenisNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:44AM (#13294971) Homepage
        I don't get this one though. I write open source software so people can use it. "leaching" is what they're doing by nature.

        I mean how many Linux users really contribute back to the Kernel?

        People used to be afraid of companies running off and locking people buying HW to a given OS.

        Now because most OSS is written by kids [e.g. 25] they're just afraid of being left behind and not noticed.

        The actual motives for a GPL or BSD or whatever license rarely has to do with the original goals.

        Becase, really, if you want code to be just out there for folk to use you could make it public domain [like I do ;-)]

        Tom
        • Becase, really, if you want code to be just out there for folk to use you could make it public domain

          Yes, to use, not to sell, without having been no contribution initially. Now that's what leeching is IMO.

        • Re:s/LGPL/BSD/ (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          The problem have with the BSD license is that a company can extend your code and make a product more attractive than yours. They can then distribute this binary-only. I don't really understand why this is a problem - it's not like my code goes away because it has a competitor - it might even motivate development more.

          When I write code, I want as many people as possible to be able to use it, so I choose the BSD license[1]. If someone makes a closed-source product out of it then their customers will ben

    • Reducing the license count is good, but put those apps under the BSD license instead. That way folks can use your program without their hands being tied.

      The important point of GPL is that it lowers entry barriers into the market - as distributors of GPL software must release all their changes back a newcomer with a neat idea can easily release a product that is just like the competition plus one improvement.

      If you change all licenses to BSD than the first company that will not be a good corporate citizen

      • How do they become a monopoly? Everyone else has a copy of the original BSD code. The only monopoly they have is over their own creative changes. Just as would happen if they wrote closed-source software of their own from scratch in-house.

        The Original BSD software is still out there. Did the TCP/IP stack for FreeBSD stop working when Microsoft copied it? Did Microsoft then have a monopoly on TCP/IP stacks? NO! THINK!

    • Re:s/GPL/BSD/ (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LnxAddct (679316)
      Yea, nothing like spending your time coding something with the intent of furthering the community, only to have someone take your code, give you no credit, and profit from it. In general, people must be motivated or forced to do the right thing, the GPL enforces a strong community where as the BSD license places too much trust in corporations. I assure you that without the GPL you would not have huge companies working together on advancing linux. Do you really think Red Hat and Novell would be swapping secu
      • In general, people must be motivated or forced to do the right thing,

        Well there's a healthy attitude.

        Do you think companies are contributing to the GPL because they are forced to? Naw. They are contributing to open source software because it's in their best interest to do so.

        For example, many large companies (eg, IBM) would like to develop their products for a popular operating system that is not under the control of a competing company. They don't want to be held hostage to MS.

        As well, many comp

    • BSD's okay... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Svartalf (2997)
      But does NOTHING to prohibit proprietarization. People can USE your programs under the GPL all they want- they don't have their hands tied. It's when they modify it that they might, and I say MIGHT have their hands tied. As far as I'm concerned, they can have their hands tied in that regard- namely if you use this as the base for your stuff, you need to be able to give your stuff back. That's the price of admission- pure and simple.

      Sadly so many BSD advocates just don't get this concept. It's not tha
    • I think between GPL, LGPL, and BSD, we have pretty much all the bases covered in terms of different kinds open source license terms.

      However, BSD alone is not enough to cover all the needs of open source software. I have made available code under all three licenses, depending on what objectives I had in mind. Just because you think that BSD works for your project doesn't mean that it works for all projects. People who pick the GPL generally do so deliberately and after a lot of thought, and the success of G
    • but put those apps under the BSD license instead. ... They can even make a product out of it, make some money, and feed changes/improvements back into the program.

      You've just described EXACTLY what the GPL is, BSD license with a requirement to feed changes/enhancements back into the program. That is what the license does, period.

      With the BSD license a company is much more likely to take the BSD'd code, and then that's it. For example, microsoft's TCP stack.
  • And then... (Score:5, Funny)

    by LuciferBlack (905438) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:33AM (#13294845)
    "IBM and SUN then asked HP to price printer supplies at a reasonable cost which drew and even bigger round of applause..."
  • Why (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kevin_conaway (585204) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:35AM (#13294875) Homepage
    Why? The article doesn't explain WHY it would be good for IBM and Sun to switch their licenses. To me, it seems like Fink is just trying to garner some positive attention to HP, which has been looked upon negatively for some time in the technical community.

    On another note, did anyone else find it ironic that he is trying to push the ideals of software freedom of creativty and expression...by locking everyone under the same license?
    • Re:Why (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hackstraw (262471) * on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:47AM (#13295011)
      The article doesn't explain WHY it would be good for IBM and Sun to switch their licenses.

      Nor why HP doesn't think its good for themselves either. From http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/1207 9_div/12079_div.HTML [hp.com]:
      The HP-UX 11i Operating System license provides the right to use the software as described in these QuickSpecs, and is furnished under the licensing of Hewlett-Packard's Standard Terms and Conditions. Licenses for prior versions must be updated to this version either through the purchase of a Service Agreement that includes the rights-to-use new versions, or through the purchase of Update Licenses.


      HP-UX 11i Operating Environment Per-Processor License, purchase separately: B9089AC
      HP-UX 11i Enterprise Operating Environment, purchase separately from hardware: B9091AC
      HP-UX 11i Enterprise to M/C OE upgrade Per-Processor License: B9094AC
      HP-UX 11i Mission-Critical OE Per-Processor License, purchase separately: B9093AC
      On another note, did anyone else find it ironic that he is trying to push the ideals of software freedom of creativty and expression...by locking everyone under the same license?

      Yes, I did. I also agree with another poster that suggested maybe the BSD license vs. GPL. The GPL license is not very attractive to many commercial software companies, and may also conflict with other contracts that they are already bound to. In general, the BSD license is much more appealing to commercial endeavors. The BSD TCI/IP stack should be a sufficient example.
      • Re:Why (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aug24 (38229)
        In general, the BSD license is much more appealing to commercial endeavors

        If you're talking about commerce that wants something for free, yeah. If you're talking about firms that have something and are considering giving it away, they I'd say 'bullshit'.

        Any example of contracts that prevent release under GPL while permitting it under BSD licence would be greatly appreciated, cos I don't think any exist.

        Justin.

      • The GPL license is not very attractive to many commercial software companies, and may also conflict with other contracts that they are already bound to.

        It may, but it should not if it is only the OS.

        In general, the BSD license is much more appealing to commercial endeavors. The BSD TCI/IP stack should be a sufficient example.

        I can see that for apps running on the OS, but not for the OS itself or components of it (as with your TCP/IP stack example).

        For a commodity OS, developed by many, used by many and

        • Under the BSD license, we could see a "splintering" of the OS exactly as we did with the old *nixes. Under the GPL, that is impossible.

          Yeah, under the GPL we only see something called GNU/forking, which is just great.

    • Let's see if HP opens up any of their sources, say, HP-UX, OpenVMS or any other software tech owned by HP.
  • I mean..they can use them, but does OSI have to list EVERY compatible license for use? If they changed that then maybe we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think they should just list the major OS licenses (GPL, BSD, CC:SA, etc) and hide the complete list where only those really worried about a particular license are going to look for it.
  • *rolls eyes* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Slime-dogg (120473) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:36AM (#13294886) Journal

    This seems like meaningless posturing for positive HP market spin. I don't see why two other companies would listen to the head of HP, when they haven't really been listening to the community itself for years.

  • oh noes (Score:5, Funny)

    by cptbarkey (906688) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:37AM (#13294892) Homepage
    please sir, make your product less effective then mine. please?
  • where is hp's example of following said request? if it exists, i'd like to know about it. if they aren't following their own advice/request then they are just stabbing IBM/Sun in a hope of gaining our faith and stealing market share.
  • by ikegami (793066) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:42AM (#13294954)
    In contrast [to GPL], an open-source license, like IBM's, is copyrighted.

    In contrast? The GPL and works released undef GPL are Copyrighted too. GPL doesn't work without Copyright.

    • Don't let little things like "facts" stand in the way of a good rant. ;-)

      Tom
    • I assumed they meant the license itself was copyrighted. But, the GPL is copyrighted by the FSF:
      GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE

      Version 2, June 1991
      Copyright (C) 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
      51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA
      Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
  • HPUX Open Source! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CPIMatt (206195) *
    I guess this means that HP will distribute HPUX under the GPL from now on! Wooo Hooo!

    (NOT!)

    -Matt
  • "He asked IBM to deprecate its open-source license and instead put it under the General Public License, the most popular license for free software that gives users the freedom run the program for any purpose, to study how it works, to modify and improve it and distribute copies. In contrast, an open-source license, like IBM's, is copyrighted.
    Licensing something with the GPL does NOT remove copyright protection; quite the opposite, if it was not for copyright protection, the GPL could not make the restrictions it does: derivitive works must also be licensed with the GPL, etc. If a work is placed in the Public Domain (where it has no copyright), then anyone can do anything they want with it, with no restrictions whatsoever.
  • There is a lot of confusion around there about what exactly is open source, free, copyrighted and/or proprietary software.

    I suggest to everyone to read the Free Software Definition [gnu.org] and the FAQs about the GNU GPL [gnu.org].

    Yeah, even if you don't like RMS read them: they are very informative!

    • There is a lot of confusion around there about what exactly is open source, free, copyrighted and/or proprietary software. I suggest to everyone to read the Free Software Definition and the FAQs about the GNU GPL.

      That's not "free" it's "Free" - it only applies to the FSF use of the word. To paraphrase Nietszche, "there are freedoms but no freedom".

  • by rwven (663186)
    He also offered to buy all the VP's on their staff's laptops loaded with windows or linux if they did...
  • by knarfling (735361) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:51AM (#13295036) Journal
    They have some nerve telling other companies to give out free licencing.

    My company that just purchased 3 computers from HP. There was a total of 5 dual core CPUs. We had to purchase 10 licences for HP-UX 11.11. Utilities that were an extra charge had to be purchased on a per CPU basis as well. A utility that cost $300 ended up costing $3000 even if it was only used on one machine. And they have the nerve to tell other companies to make their licences free???

    HP, if you want others to change their licences, lead by example.

    • by Ngwenya (147097) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @12:19PM (#13295296)
      ObDisc: I work for HP, speaking here in a personal capacity, blah, blah, blah...

      They have some nerve telling other companies to give out free licencing.


      Be fair. Martin was simply saying that if IBM/Sun/HP/whoever is going to release software under a free license, then it would be preferable to release under a single, well known license - the GPL. HP's techies and lawyers tend to agree (in as much as techies ever agree about anything) that the GPL is the best way to give stuff to the free software community while protecting HP's intellectual investments. In other words, it will only give away stuff in the knowledge that some leech won't just take it and make the code non-free. And HP has released a lot of code under the GPL.

      So he wasn't saying that Sun should open up everything including Java, or that IBM should free up AIX/Tivoli/etc or such things: just that the proliferation of licenses adds to market confusion.

      Lastly, HP can't just open up HP-UX without a huge amount of work; there is code in there which is licensed under arrangements incompatible with the GPL. Case in point: HP licenses the SVR4 codebase, and I believe there is some ongoing litigation involving the contract conditions around that. Can't quite remember the company's name...

      Scoff? Scold? Squelch?

      --Ng
    • And they have the nerve to tell other companies to make their licences free???

      I believe HP was asking Sun and IBM to make their free software free in a more
      standard way. I don't think HP was suggesting that Sun and IBM make free things
      that currently aren't free.
  • OSS, not OS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jim Hall (2985) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:53AM (#13295059) Homepage

    Can we please refer to Open Source either using the phrase "Open Source" or with the abbreviation "OSS"?? The "OS" usually stands for "Operating System".

    So the headline of this article read to me like "HP calls for Sun and IBM to remove Operating System licenses" which is completely different from what the article was about.

    </soapbox>

  • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @11:54AM (#13295069) Homepage Journal
    He asked IBM to deprecate its open-source license and instead put it under the General Public License [. . .] In contrast, an open-source license, like IBM's, is copyrighted.


    I guess the hardest part of journalism school is learning to talk out of ones ass.

    For those who, like this reporter, don't know: Any material must be under copyright for the GPL to apply.

    J.T.F.C.

    -Peter
  • He asked IBM to deprecate its open-source license and instead put it under the General Public License [...]. In contrast, an open-source license, like IBM's, is copyrighted.

    Whoever wrote that doesn't appear to know what "copyrighted" means.

    The GPL is "copyrighted", too. Software published under the GPL or IBM's license or Creative Commons or Microsoft's EULA* is copyrighted. Almost everything is copyrighted, except things which have been put or have at last fallen into the public domain.

    The li

  • "He asked IBM to deprecate its open-source license and instead put it under the General Public License, the most popular license for free software that gives users the freedom run the program for any purpose, to study how it works, to modify and improve it and distribute copies. In contrast, an open-source license, like IBM's, is copyrighted..."

    Unless I'm mistaken, and I don't think that's the case this time around, copyright remains in effect under the GPL. All it is is a license that says you have more

  • While I welcome the goals of the executive from HP, I just beg him to have more patience. The two companies he mentions will [soon] discover that their licences are not managing to have them cut it. I do not know of any company that has done what a rival has wanted it to. Otherwise SUN would have released java under the GPL long ago.

    By the way, the executive would have taken this chance to announce that HP has placed all its software under the GPL that he seems to worship. Of course he didn't. Why? Because

  • It does, overall, seem like a silly stunt to get attention for HP (who hardly uses GPL universally--or even widely--themselves).

    However, the devil is in the details. I agree that Sun's CDDL is a mess, and replacing it with GPL would be great. Or with BSD. Or with MPL or IBM's PL. But IBM's license is quite good--in fact, probably better than GPL at this point, since it deals with patents, requiring non-discriminatory treatment by patent holders. IBM's PL is most certainly a Free Software license, as we
    • by jiushao (898575) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @12:29PM (#13295410)
      CDDL a mess? It is just the Mozilla Public License 1.1 with the word "Mozilla" replaced by "covered software". It is old, established and is both an approved OSI license [opensource.org] and a Free Software license approved by the FSF [gnu.org]. Sure, it is GPL-incompatible, but so is the IBM Public License.

      I have no idea how Sun ended up hated by Slashdot. They sell Linux, they open-sourced the Solaris kernel, they have cooperated with OSS operating systems to get them running on their hardware. Lets not forget a huge donation in the form of buying StarOffice and immediately open-sourcing it. The completely open and royalty-free SPARC architecture (as opposed to the far-from-open PPC). Few companies have done more.

      There have been some back and forth on how they perceive Linux, but considering that Linux has been eating Sun's marketshare quickly the last decade they sure seem to have a very good relationship with Linux and related technologies.

  • by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel&hotmail,com> on Thursday August 11, 2005 @12:09PM (#13295222) Homepage Journal
    Ok, now we have HP taking pot shots at SUN and IBM.

    Yes, HP /has/ given to the community, but in no way as much as IBM and SUN. NFS? SUN OpenOffice? SUN, Solaris 10? SUN (let's see HP open-source HPUX).

    Before HP opens its yap, I want to see the source for HPUX, and CDE.

    You know, that OS where you can't use local variables named "u" in kernel code (just like 30 year old Unix).

    But NOOO - HP feels they must shoot at IBM and SUN for the (Open Source approved) LICENSE -- AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY CLAPPED?!?!?

    Ratboy
    • In some ways the above three work together, and in some ways they're competitors. Why should anyone lend credence to anything HP tells its competitors to do... how about we wait to hear what HP is going to do to make their products open-source... or how about getting the manufacturers of the wireless chipset and/or cardreader in my HP laptop to release an OS-driver for linux? No, I thought not.

      If MS declared that Apple should open-source more of their offerings would it make news? Maybe only so we can lau
  • by olivercromwell (654085) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @12:24PM (#13295343)
    Asking Sun to GPL SOlaris will never fly. Why? Even if they wanted to, they couldn't, as Solaris is basically an System V release, and we know how SCO feels about GPL, Linux, and so called leaking of SVRx code into Linux. Sun is a licencee, and if they did release the kernel code, they would be hooped. Same goes for HP with HP-UX, and IBM with AIX. Until the SVR code is GPL'd, no Unix based on SVR will every be GPL'd, regardless of who actually owns the copyright to the code.
  • Zonk or whoever titled the story creates the impression at a glance the HP is trying to convince IBM & Sun to go to a closed source lincense. The title is 180 degrees removed from the real storyline - HP is attempting to get IBM & Sun to completely switch to a GPL license.

  • ... well, actually, nobody listens.
  • by PhilipPeake (711883) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @12:35PM (#13295476)
    Lets start with HP's comments. as has been mentioned here before, I don't see HP making any great effort to apply the GPL to their code, which is strange if its such a wonderful thing. This seems more like posturing than anything else.

    A much more reasonable request of IBM and Sun might be to ask them (note: not DEMAND!) to consider dual licensing. Obviously they see some advantage to their licences, and presumably they thnk their users do too, so lets see which license people adopt. Its not unreasonable to require that users of their code state at the time of aquiring the code which license they are aquiring under -- no picking the license to match the circumstances -- make people think about what they are doing.

    As to the question of which is the world's most wonderful OSS license, well, I have some personal reservations about GPL -- which doen't mean that I don't think that the GPL does not have its place, and that it couldn't be improved.

    That said, I also have a lot of sympathy for the point of view expressed by Pamela Jones when she says that it is the GPL and only the GPL that has destroyed the pirate raids of SCO and put them into a defensive mode, trying to defend the indefensible. She is right. The GPL did the world a huge favor here.

    Does that mean the GPL could not be made somewhat more flexible? Well, we will see when GPL 3.0 sees the light of day.

  • Stupidity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:11PM (#13296598) Homepage Journal
    I don't know what's worse, the fact that a vice president of HP can be so stupid, or the fact that he got applauded for his stupidity. The former doesn't know what Free Software but insists on making a speech about it, and the latter are willing to applaud any praise of the GPL no matter how erroneous that praise might be.

    It's one thing to want to limit the number of approved Open Source licenses. I may disagree with it, but I understand the motive. I can also understand his urging his competitors to use the more popular Open Source licenses instead of their own (even though HP still insists on proprietary for most of its software).

    But when he says that the GPL is not copyrighted, he is being stupid. EVERY Free Software and Open Source license is copyrighted! Even the sacred and immaculately conceived GPL! For a LWCE keynote speaker to make such a fundamental blunder on the nature of Free Software is scandalous.
  • by TorKlingberg (599697) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:19PM (#13296711)
    He has a good point. It seems like every big company going into OSS make up their own license for no particular reason. Incompatible with every other OSS license out there of course.
  • by justins (80659) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @02:35PM (#13296868) Homepage Journal
    Okay, companies which have released as much OSS software as IBM and Sun should listen to HP because... why?

    I'm sure the Eclipse people and the OpenSolaris project, among many others, have been waiting with great anxiety for HP's opinion of what they are doing. "Hey guys, stop everything! Martin Fink says we're using the wrong license!"

    Even if the guy has a point, it takes some gall for HP to tell these other companies much of anything about how to conduct their OSS business.
  • Disclaimer: I work for IBM in the hardware side, so I am biased. IMHO the best thing HP did was buy Compaq and destroy a worthy competitor. This is not a troll, and not flaimbait for folks with moderator points that are discussion adverse. To comply with IBM rules for identifying myself I also need to point out the following comment is my own personal opinion and isn't sanctioned/dictated by IBM

    To me, at rough glance, this is typical HP tactics. Instead of touting what they're doing, they point the finger at everyone else and go 'see, they suck so we're OK' but don't tell you why they're OK.

    The hard part about the GPL (from the way I understand it, which could be flawed) is you in effect give up any IP claims you have on something when it's submitted if you should choose to change the way you do things later. I think what you're seeing by a lot of companies that are opening the kimono a bit but in case this turns out to be a wild fad or something they can close it back up should they want too.

    Personally I think the genie is out of the bottle and it is only a matter of time. But monster companies by nature are conservative, and won't jump whole heartedly into something right away.

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